A large portion of an automotive repair shop’s expenses is related to cleaning combustion engines. Combustion engines produce some by-products that foul the parts such as blow-by gases, sludge, and carbon build-up. There are different cleaning methods a shop uses to clean an engine including wet, abrasive and thermal cleaning solutions. Soda blasting is used in the shop for degreasing parts and for other stripping chores.
Wet methods typically involve chemicals, soaps and solvents. Alkaline-based materials cut grease very well and work best when heated. Acids are useful in removing rust and scale, but acids won’t cut through greasy sludge build-up. Soil can be cleaned with soap, but to activate the soap, water is required. Solvents are a solution for cleaning grease and include products that are water-based, or mineral spirits, or chlorinated hydrocarbons. All of these solutions have significant challenges for handling the cleaning agents, as well as for disposal.
Abrasive methods for cleaning engines are often preferred as there is less caustic agents involved while cleaning the engine. Abrasive cleaning includes glass bead blasting, soda blasting, and scatter steel shot. These methods will clean rust, soil, and petroleum based sludge, but do require a technician skilled in using the abrasion mechanism. There is still a requirement for disposing of the after-product according to approved standards.
Vibratory methods of engine de-greasing are another option. Parts are placed into a ceramic, aluminium or plastic tube along with large beads. Then the machine vibrates the material off the part. This method doesn’t require a skilled operator, but it does make a racket. It should only be used in a soundproof room.
Thermal cleaning methods are another alternative for degreasing engines. This method relies on pyrolytic ovens which literally cook away the oil and grease and turns it to ash. This method results in less hazardous waste to dispose of, but it does require a tremendous about of energy (electric or gas) to achieve the high temperatures.
So there you have the various methods used to degrease engines and engine parts. We tend to favour the soda blasting technique. Soda blasting allows our auto repair and engine rebuild clients to take on larger pieces of equipment that they normally couldn’t handle using their current degreasing method or equipment. Our equipment is completely mobile, and we can bring it to your shop to help you get through those larger jobs.
Contact us today at 0407 070 464 to discover how easy and efficiently our soda blasting solutions can take care of those big jobs.